My name is Chris James, one the teachers at NPTI. I wanted to share some of my story so you, as a perspective student, have an idea as to what kind of people work at the National Personal Training Institute.
My story starts way back when I was in 6th grade. I was the little guy, the small kid who was a late bloomer, with braces, and off the charts ADHD. Unfortunately, due to my small stature and awkwardness, I was the target of bullying. The bullying was so severe and no one did anything to stop it. So I attempted to take my life. I wanted to die. Thankfully I didn’t fully follow through with my plan and I am here today to be able to share my story. I could not go through with it because I had good parents who loved me and I could not do that to them.
As time went on the bullying continued and my depression deepened. My parents had me see several child therapists and I was taking medication, but at the end of the day, I simply hated life. One day my dad came up to me and said, “Chris, if you want the kids to stop picking on you, start working out”. I really didn’t have a choice, he made me workout. Dad and I would workout together and he taught me how to exercise.
One day, after getting out of the shower, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw muscles I’ve never seen before. In that moment I knew that working out was my answer to my problem. From that day forward, working out became my life. This defining moment happened when I was in 9th grade. At the time I was under 100 pounds which is underweight for that age. I gained an average of 30 pounds per year and by my senior year in high school I was 210 pounds of solid muscle. Needless to say, the kids stopped picking on me! Everyone thought I was on steroids but I achieved this 100% naturally.
I was working out at the YMCA at the time and a personal trainer came up to me and asked me if I had ever considered bodybuilding. I said “no, but sounds cool”. So I hired him to be my personal trainer and for 3 years I competed in bodybuilding shows in three different states. I won a few shows and made it to the top 5 in the PA NPC bodybuilding championships.
People were coming to me and asking how to get into bodybuilding and that is where my personal training career started. At first, my focus was training bodybuilders and getting guys and even my sister, ready for shows. However, I soon realized I enjoyed helping anyone who wanted to get in shape. I started training anyone who wanted help. After I moved to Arizona, I became more clinical in my approach in how I worked with clients. I had the great honor of working with and was mentored by physical therapists, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, and others in the medical field. I also received my personal training certification through NSAM and several other fitness certification organizations. I’ve also studied nutrition and herbology for many years.
Throughout my career I’ve worked for many of the name brand big-box gyms, designed a software platform for managing gyms, and owned my own personal training company for 8 years with 25 people on staff.
Now I have the great privilege of teaching at the National Personal Training Institute. I’ve been through a lot. I’ve made mistakes, learned hard lessons, and took the road less traveled. The best part is, I’ve have had the opportunity to personal train hundreds of people over the last 25 years. I’ve seen so many lives changed and now I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with you.